KMA-Central market traders impasse: Ashanti regional minister steps in

The Ashanti regional Minister has stepped in to help address the concerns of traders at the Kumasi Central market who are expected to be moved into the new Kejetia market soon.

Members of the Kumasi Central Market Concern Traders Association have been in arms with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly over their demand for the Traders to pay between seven thousand eight hundred cedis to forty thousand cedis to own a new shop at the refurbished Kejetia Market.

On Wednesday July 17th 2019 during a planned Press conference by the Kumasi Central Market Concern Traders Association to press home their demands, contingent of Soldiers, Police and KMA Task force stormed the market to disrupt proceedings which further angered the Traders.

The regional minister later asked to meet with the traders; a meeting which took place in his office Wednesday afternoon.

Simon Osei Mensah was able to calm down the nerves of the traders and gave them assurances of his intervention to ensure all things go well with their tenancy agreements and related issues. He is expected to hold a meeting with the Mayor, the Bank authorities and other stakeholders in order to resolve the current impasse.

He also denied knowledge of the police/military team that disrupted the meeting of the traders and promised to look into it and lay the matter to rest.

The Regional Minister’s intervention is welcomed news to the traders although it will mean a delay in their relocation process to the new market.

The development sent the venue for the Press Conference into pandemonium as Journalists including those from the OTECFM had their gadgets destroyed and chased out of the premises.

Speaking to OTECFM after the meeting with the Ashanti Regional Minister at the Regional Co-ordinating  Council yesterday, the President of the Traders Madam Sara Osei Bonsu expressed the group’s total appreciation  of the Minister’s intervention in the impasse adding the meeting has helped resolve their misgivings against the government.

According to her, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah assured them during the meeting that the exorbitant cost of the stores should be reduced amidst better payment plans.

She intimated that the Regional Minister Hon. Simon Osei Mensah stated unequivocally that the directive had nothing to do with the government since the President Nana Akuffo-Addo has not sanctioned the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly directive insisting the current situation needs to be revisited.

Madam Sara Osei Bonsu conceded,” Kumasi Central Market Concern Traders Association members are enthused at the Minister’s swift intervention in the brouhaha, and the meeting went on well. The Minister said he does not support the plans of the KMA because he is not aware of anything. He told us that he would ensure better payment plans was put in place. He wants the huge prices be slashed while no one must be made to pay the sum in full but in monthly payments procedure.”

The Kejetia market was commissioned by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo in May this year with the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II in attendance but the edifice has not been occupied due to the KMA and the Traders’ misunderstandings on the distribution of the stores.

Meanwhile GUTA has also waded into the issue after meeting with the traders Wednesday afternoon.

Source: Ghana/ Benedict

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